What Donald Trump did on his summer holiday

President Donald J. Trump arrives at the The White House on the presidential helicopter Image copyright Getty Images

This week across America, millions of children will be getting ready to go back to school and returning home that evening with their first work assignment - an essay with the title: "What I did on my summer holidays."

Now imagine for a second you're Donald Trump, and you've just been given that piece of homework. I think the first thing you're going to do is ask for a few extra sheets of paper because, what a summer.

From distant, foggy memory, I also seem to remember that the one other instruction you got from the teacher was to make it descriptive, and not too much of a list.

Well, sorry about that, Miss. This is what Donald and his pals in the White House got up to:

And this is the quiet season. This is the still, millpond of August when nothing happens; when days are long and news bulletins are slim, when surfing dogs and the battle of the bake-offs should dominate the news cycle.

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Trump proves G20 is less than sum of its parts

International leaders attend the group photo on the first day of the G20 economic summit in Hamburg, Germany, 7 July 2017 Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption International leaders failed to get Mr Trump to recommit to the Paris climate agreement

We'll get to the G20 in a moment. But let's start with organisational psychology. There are some groups or teams that are greater than the sum of their parts, and there are others - that for all the talent and power they may have individually - are less.

Think soccer. Think last year's European Championship. Then tiny little Iceland were the heroes of the competition - and not just because of their wonderful fans.

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Trump and his reality TV strategy

President Trump has brought to an end weeks of speculation by confirming that he does not have any audio tapes of conversations between him and ex-FBI boss James Comey. So why pretend he did?

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Trump's normal-ish foreign trip

US President Donald Trump speaks during the Arabic Islamic American Summit at the King Abdulaziz Conference Center in Riyadh on May 21, 2017. Image copyright Getty Images

Just before Donald Trump left Washington to come on this gruelling trip, the word was he would have given anything to get out of it or anything to shorten it.

One, he likes his home comforts - not that Air Force One is exactly slumming it - and two, he knew that all his critics were waiting for him to do something gauche or stupid in some faraway foreign clime.

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Advice for Trump on his first trip overseas

Trump plane Image copyright AFP
Image caption Trump is set for his first foreign trip, after a honeymoon period hunkered down at home

Before Donald Trump became president he would often spend days holed up in Trump Tower in New York, shuttling in a private elevator between his penthouse apartment and office.

And it's been a similar story since he moved into the White House, where he divides his time between the East and West Wings, leaving only to spend weekends at Trump-branded resorts.

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Trump's speech was chalk and cheese

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Media captionTrump vows 'renewal of American spirit'

Washington's big night of pomp and politics - and from the fledgling president a disciplined performance and a well-crafted speech.

From the get-go it was clear this was going to be something different.

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Trump's most extraordinary news conference

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Media captionDonald Trump: "I inherited a mess"

Today totally typified the unexpected and unpredictable nature of covering the 45th president of the United States.

I was at home, working on a book I am trying to finish when there was a flash on the TV: Donald Trump to hold unscheduled news conference in an hour's time.

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Russia looms large behind Flynn affair

White House National Security Advisor Michael Flynn (C) arrives prior to a joint news conference between Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 13, 2017 Image copyright Reuters

As with any resignation there are a thousand small, but nevertheless important questions. Most are of the who-knew-what-and-when variety. But with this astonishing fall from grace there is one big overarching question. I'll save that best bit for last.

The small questions concern whether Donald Trump knew about the calls Mike Flynn was making to the Russian ambassador, and what the substance of their conversations were.

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Barack Obama legacy: How reality derailed the dream

Donald Trump's victory has not only written a new astonishing chapter in American political history, it brings the Obama era to an end in a way few imagined just a year ago.

So how will the first black president be remembered?

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US Election Results 2016: Trump victory writes new chapter in US history

Donald Trump Image copyright Reuters

Donald Trump is a hugely effective communicator.

A famous entertainer once said of him he's the best live performer who doesn't sing and doesn't play a musical instrument. He communicates brilliantly clearly.

Read full article US Election Results 2016: Trump victory writes new chapter in US history